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 Need to ID Southern African scorpion asap

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heinburgh
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PostSubject: Need to ID Southern African scorpion asap   11/9/2013, 6:07 pm

We live in Zambia and have many of these around and in our house. We have a 6 month old baby and I read that Parabuthus granulatus can deliver a lethal sting. Is this P g? If not, what do we have here? What is the threat to our baby?

They don't seem to get bigger than 6cm / 2 1/2".

I uploaded a picture to www.mukuyu.org/scorpion.jpg

Thanks,
Hein
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Tongue Flicker
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PostSubject: Re: Need to ID Southern African scorpion asap   11/9/2013, 11:07 pm


Some pictures of P.granulatus were intermixed in google. Parabuthus capensis maybe?
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heinburgh
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PostSubject: Re: Need to ID Southern African scorpion asap   11/9/2013, 11:32 pm

If it it P. capensis, is this better if a small child is stung? Is it less dangerous?

What do we do in case of a sting?
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Den
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PostSubject: Re: Need to ID Southern African scorpion asap   11/10/2013, 3:37 am

I can't make out the specie but the genus does seem to be parabuthus and this being the case it doesn't really matter which one it may or may not be....Any (or at least the ones i know) scorpion of the genus Parabuthus could potentially kill a small baby.....But that's no reason to panic, i mean, you do live in Zambia.

Scorpions don't wander around looking for humans to sting and they'll only sting if they feel threatened as in, you tread on them, grab hold of them or in some other way press a body part against them.....
Precautions you could take are of course sealing rooms so that scorpions can't enter although another precaution could be to use shiny plastic or glass as a barrier. Scorpions, unlike spiders can't climb smooth vertical surfaces so anything vertical, smooth and high enough to stop it crawling over will be an effective barrier.
Lastly, that dead specimen you pictured looks like a male......so it was probably wandering around looking for a female. If you are seeing a lot of them it could just be mating season has kicked in and you're seeing males looking for females....Just scoop them up in a small plastic container using a stick to coerce them into it and release them outside away from your house....If your child is still quite immobile there shouldn't be much danger of it wandering around treading on scorpions and as long as you take some precautions to create barriers around it's cot/crib/bed/room there shouldn't be much problem there either.

Oh yeh, another simple thing you can use as a barrier is standard packing tape (you know, the brown tape with a shiny gloss surface)....As long as this tape is stuck onto flat non horizontal surfaces scorpions wont be able to climb it.
If things still go pear shaped and your child is stung then your obvious course of action is to get your child to a hospital asap......bringing the scorpion with you.......You could even pre-empt a potential sting by phoning your local hospital and checking what antivenom they carry plus asking them what procedures you should follow in case of envenomation........Put local hospital/clinic phone numbers on speed dial or have it written somewhere in the house where it can be seen at any time.



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shadowfoot
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PostSubject: Re: Need to ID Southern African scorpion asap   11/10/2013, 5:48 am

Is that a subaculeur tubercle I see on the sting? If it is then it's not a Parabuthus. Definitely not P.granulatus. Not P.capensis as their range doesn't extend up to there. It's definitely a Buthid so it dangerous to small children. I would suggest putting rubber stoppers at the bottom of your doors so that they can't crawl underneath.
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shadowfoot
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PostSubject: Re: Need to ID Southern African scorpion asap   11/10/2013, 6:20 am

Asked a South African scorpion researcher, he IDed it as Hottentotta trilineatus, they are also a danger to small children. Another precaution you can take is to get yourself a UV torch and light around the house at night, as they glow under UV light, and just relocate them away from the house.
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robert44
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PostSubject: Re: Need to ID Southern African scorpion asap   11/10/2013, 7:47 am

The UV torch idea is great.  You might also want to make sure your crib legs are very slick.  As noted above, scorps can't climb smooth surfaces like glass, smooth hard plastic and smooth shiny metal.  The tape idea is good.  You might also want to look into getting (or making) a crib with some sort of very smooth, hard and shiny legs.  Maybe you could get a normal crib and put smooth, shiny metal or plastic legs on it.  At least you wouldn't have to worry about your baby when he/she is in the crib.

By the way, consider catching one of these scorps and keeping it as a pet (of course make sure your baby can't get to it).  You would learn a lot about them which would help you protect your baby.  If you have any interest in this you might want to let us know so we could give you instructions on how to keep and house it safely.  You could also join up with us here!
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Den
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PostSubject: Re: Need to ID Southern African scorpion asap   11/10/2013, 12:12 pm

shadowfoot wrote:
Is that a subaculeur tubercle I see on the sting? If it is then it's not a Parabuthus.
Well spotted ... and of course you're absolutely right.
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